Five Claflin University students who received the Dwight D. Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship recently returned from Washington, D.C. after attending the 92nd annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board. Two students, Kasey Wilson and Carlos Morean, were selected to present their research at the conference.
“This marks the third consecutive year that Claflin has had participants selected for presentations at this prestigious event,” said Janice McCollum, campus manager for the project.
The Transportation Research Board's annual meeting is a global attraction for transportation experts and officials. The Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship Program awards fellowships to students pursuing degrees in transportation-related disciplines. This program advances the transportation workforce by attracting the brightest minds to the field through education, research, and workforce development. Wilson, Morean, LaKendric Williams, Brandon Hicks and Jalisa Butler are all Eisenhower Fellows who attended the meeting in January.
“There were plenty of opportunities to network and I took advantage of them,” said Butler, who had lunch with an employee from the Federal Highway Administration. “My overall experience was great.”
Butler, a junior politics and justice studies major, said this were her first time visiting the nation’s capital. She chose to write and research about achieving a balance between transportation safety and passenger satisfaction. The Bennettsville, S.C. native received a $3,000 Eisenhower Fellowship.
“Hearing such innovative ideas for fellow participants around the nation really sparked a higher interest in the transportation field for me,” said Brandon Hicks, a 2008 Claflin music graduate who is pursuing a Master of Business Administration degree from the University.
Hicks, an Orangeburg native, received a $5,000 Eisenhower Fellowship. He researched avenues to sustain and improve public transportation in Orangeburg County through local partnerships. One day, Hicks hopes to own and operate a music school, in addition to possibly bringing a bowling alley and another movie theatre to his hometown.
“It was totally an exceptional trip that I will never forget. The people I met and the opportunities I had to network were second-to-none,” he said.
This was MBA student LaKendric Williams’ second time going to the conference. He fashioned his research on improving accessibility and reliability of public transportation for the elderly and disabled. He said Claflin has opened many doors for him as he soon embarks on beginning his career.
“As a visionary, I aspire to travel the world while positively impacting the lives of people through business innovation and community initiatives,” said Williams, who is eyeing a position with an elite management consulting firm.